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Smoking Bans In Saudi

Ten of thousands of Saudis die every year from smoking-related causes, and the government is taking notice. A public awareness campaign alongside heavily increased tariffs is working to discourage the purchase of cigarettes. Some of these ads - as well as some homemade additions - are showing up on twitter under the hashtag "#smoking in Saudi Arabia."

#التدخين_�ي_السعودية (: pic.twitter.com/VLLKWIfzLj

— المها الشمري. (@memo10109) January 7, 2014

Twitter users are also promoting awareness by tweeting and retweeting frightening statistics. For example, one user posted a screenshot of a news article, writing, "more than 70% of students begin their relationship with smoking during the exam period."

دراسة.. أكثر من 70بالمئة من الطلاب بدأت علاقتهم بالتدخين Ù�ÙŠ Ù�ترة الامتحانات.(الشرق) #التدخين_Ù�ÙŠ_السعودية #الاختبارات pic.twitter.com/EM9XCie2U7

— هاشتاق السعودية (@HashKSA) January 7, 2014

A YouTube video details the efforts made by the Saudi Health Ministry to combat the smoking epidemic.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

Turkey-Israel Relations? It's Complicated — But The Gaza War Is Different

Turkish President Erdogan has now called on the International Criminal Court to go after Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for war crimes, as the clash between the two regional powers has reached a new low.

Photo of ​Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan walking

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Elias Kassem

Since the arrival two decades ago of now President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s relationship with Israel has been a mix of deep ideological conflict and cover-your-eyes realpolitik.

On the one hand, Erdogan has positioned himself as a kind of global spokesman for the Palestinian cause. His Justice and Development Party has long publicly and financially supported Hamas, which shares similar roots in the 20th-century Muslim Brotherhood movement.

And yet, since 2001 when Erdogan first came to power, trade between Turkey and Israel has multiplied from $1.41 to $8.9 billion in 2022. Moreover, both countries see major potential in transporting newly discovered Israeli natural gas to Europe, via Turkey.

The logic of shared interests clashes with the passions and posturing of high-stakes geopolitics. Diplomatic relations have been cut off, then restored, and since October 7, the countries’ respective ambassadors have been recalled, with accusations flying between Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Still, over the past 48 hours, Turkish-Israeli relations may have hit an all-time low.

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